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"Win and wear the crown" as you take a spin in the newest model of Life!

Rick Stewart, C.S., Dresden, Germany
Posted Monday, October 17th, 2011

"Win & wear the crown" as you take a spin in the newest model of Life eternal! Here are the keys.

CedarS MET, Metaphysical Application Ideas for:  Probation After Death
The Christian Science Bible Lesson for October 17 - 24, 2011
by Rick Stewart, C.S., Dresden, Germany
RickStewartCS@aol.com  +49-351-312-4736
[Bracketed italics by Warren Huff, CedarS Director and Met, PSST & PYCL Newsletters Editor]
 
[Editor's Note: The following application ideas for this week, and the Possible Sunday School Topics (PSST) that will follow, are offered primarily to help CEDARS campers and staff (as well as friends) see and demonstrate the great value of daily study and application of the Christian Science Bible lessons year-round, not just at camp! You can sign up to have them emailed to you free -- in English by Monday each week, or by each Wednesday you can get a FREE TRANSLATION in French thanks to Pascal, in German thanks to Helga and Manfred or in Spanish thanks to a team of Ana, Erick, Claudia and Patricio. YOU CAN SIGN UP at www.cedarscamps.org/newsletters]

Probation After Death
Probation, oh, that is not a word that most people like to hear.  When a friend recently was told that she faced a probation period in her job, she was not very happy.  But she did reason that it was better than just being fired!  Probation is usually a testing or trial period.  Someone in a new job might face a probation period before being hired permanently.  Or in school someone might be on probation if their grades were not quite good enough.  With improvement perhaps they will be promoted to the next grade.
 
Actually the thought of "probation" and "probation after death" might make us shudder.  Why in the world would Mary Baker Eddy pick this topic as one of the 26 subjects for the Christian Science Bible Lesson?   Well, just remember that Mrs. Eddy realized how important it was to free mankind from false beliefs and doctrines. Her hope was that through a better understanding of God and His Christ that we would discover more of our harmonious life.  She wrote in her textbook, "Universal salvation rests on progress and probation, and is unattainable without them." (S-2), (S&H 291)
In the 1800s when Mrs. Eddy discovered Christian Science and wrote her textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures there was a furious religious debate over this topic.  Religious conservatives then and now believed that man's only chance for salvation was found in this life.  More liberal views such as "Universalism," held that all eventually would have the chance for salvation, here or hereafter.  An interesting discussion of this topic can be found in Stephen Gottschalk's book, The Emergence of Christian Science in American Religious Life in the chapter, "New Departure," pages 94, 95.  Gottschalk examines Mrs. Eddy's view in relation to the religious discussion of the day. (This book can be accessed at "Google Books" online.) 
But is probation always a bad thing?  For example, in German the word for a test drive of a car is "Probefahrt."  When our family recently added a new addition, Martha Josephine, we realized we needed to consider a new car.  We had to have room for the whole family and our dog, Theo.  My brother Scott offered some financial backing so we could begin our search for the right car.  We have been thinking, listening, looking, praying and as Susanne, my wife, advised we plan a good test drive, "Probefahrt", of our top candidate. [For you younger readers who don't have a driver's license yet, you might identify with going into a running shoe store and being allowed to try on several pairs of shoes to take for a short (probationary) test run before buying them.]

 

In some ways this week's Bible Lesson is a little like a "Probefahrt" [or test run.]  We can learn through study and experience the qualities we want to keep or discard in our "ride" [or run] through Life.  What is worth keeping and what should we forget or discard?  I know you have probably never, ever thought of God as a used-car salesman, but can't you just imagine Him as a loving Father tossing you the keys and simply saying, "Take her out for a spin."  [With the only warning being to avoid the ten dead-ends roads that are sometimes mismarked as ways leading to the good life.]  God has already given you a just-right vehicle for your ride called eternal Life.  Of course our "keys" are the Bible and Science and Health, right?  So, ladies and gentlemen, start your engines, let's go for a ride [or run] to win the "Crown of Life." (B-23, James 1:12)

 

Golden Text [(G.T.) quoted in S-28, S&H 20:27]
Our Golden Text (Hebrews 12:1) sets the theme for our lesson and certainly gives us one "key" to our progress and that is to recognize what to discard or not take with us on our ride through life.  [I annually give to each CedarS staff member a reminder of what to get rid of, or quit: a simple Q-TIP-standing for Quit Taking It Personally.  As Mrs. Eddy says of this week's G.T. passage: "let us put aside material self and sense" (personal sense) (S-28)]
 
Responsive Reading:  James 1:5, 12-16 He; Col. 3:1, 4, 9 You, 10, 12-14
The Epistle of James is often thought of as being written by James, the brother of Jesus.  Not all agree to this theory, but there are good arguments on both sides.  But it is clear that important themes of this book are a living faith and successfully overcoming trials that serve to strengthen our faith. You can read much more about this wonderful book of the Bible at:  http://www.theopedia.com/Epistle_of_James
The verses from Colossians 3 are certainly a call to live a life here and now that is patterned after a Godly life.  And the idea of progression and probation are revealed here in the form of "being dead," to the worldly way of life and living a new life patterned after God -- "seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;  And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:" Col. 3: 9,10. 
[You, being "now a new person" need to "forgive anyone who has done you wrong" (Col. 3:10, CEV). 
Rather than fixate on problems and wrongs, we must learn how to let them go and move on.  A beautiful song by Desiree Goyette with this message is "Let it Go", Desiree Goyette's latest, healing CD. If you email us that you are interested, we (as campership-earning reps) will be glad to send you however many you wish at $15 each to share, as a gift to yourself and to other loved ones...] 
 
Section 1: Progress born of experience-as applied to surfing--"willing to get wet..."
Here a father and son team, David and Solomon, give us some great advice on our path in life.  Psalm 138 and 139 are both attributed to David.  And the author of Proverbs is often identified as Solomon, the son of David.
Good choices of thinking and life style certainly get a thumbs-up from the Psalmist and his son.  [In citation B-4 we also get a colossal application idea or tip-- "this one thing I do"-- on how to have a mindset of being perfect from Paul.  He and Jesus are identified as "unpretentious yet colossal characters... stars of the first magnitude - fixed stars in the heavens of Soul." Mis. 360:7  In CedarS Bible Lands Park near Philippi  we plan to build a Tire Traversal as a hands-on demonstration of Paul's tip to the Philippians and to us: "forgetting those things that are behind and reaching forth unto those things that are before". It clearly shows that you have to let go of the tire you are swinging on in order to move on to the next one and the next ... and to ultimately reach your goal.  Desiree Goyette's "Let It Go" song beautifully reinforces this message.  Paul also reminds us and the Romans that we need to move as soo as possible beyond the death of being "carnally (bodily) minded" to be "spiritually minded (which) is life and peace." (B-5, Romans 8:6)]  And in the citations from Science and Health Mrs. Eddy adds her thoughts on leading a progressive, ever-improving life.  "Universal salvation rests on progression and probation, and is unattainable without them." (S-2) page 291
When I was 10 years old I paddled out the very first time on a surfboard.  It was a giant of a longboard, 10-feet long.  My first attempts were not so successful and I came in with a nasty cut on my stomach when the long board pearled (nose of the board into the water) on my fist attempt to catch a wave.  The board stood straight up and there was a little guy dangling in the air resting on the skeg (fin of the surfboard.)  But that was not the end of my surfing experience.
Over the years I enjoyed wonderful times in the water in Florida, the Bahamas, North Carolina, Peru, Brazil, Costa Rica, Panama, and England.  I certainly was never a great surfer, but I loved it.  And I watched lots of friends also have the thrill of their lives on a good wave.
But I do remember my first visit to very big waves on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica.  The pounding surf was rather an eye opener.  Even paddling out to where you could catch a wave was an adventure.  My first trip was great fun, but only a few good waves.  It was just a little intimidating for a small-wave surfer from Florida.
Then on my next visit to Costa Rica a year later I had a brand new surfboard.  We arrived at an unknown beach with no other surfers in the water. We surveyed the beach, the currents and the waves and chose a spot to paddle out.  It was a perfect channel and allowed us to get outside to the big waves almost effortlessly.  As I arrived outside a beautiful, big and perfectly-formed wave was heading right to me.  I turned, paddled a few strokes and had one of the best rides of my entire life.
How grateful I was that I had not just given up on surfing the first time I wiped out.  There were many wipe outs that followed that first one.  But also there were indescribable moments of joy, beauty and freedom in hurricane surf in Florida and then that "ultimate" wave on King's Beach, Costa Rica.
I may not be one of the immortals of surfing, but memory of that Kings Beach wave will be immortally with me.  And if I had given up at my first attempts, I would have never gotten there.  Patience and a willingness to progress, even if in small degrees, helps win the prize of joy, freedom, and dominion.
As Mrs. Eddy writes," Progress is born of experience.  It is the ripening of mortal man, through which the mortal is dropped for the immortal." (S-3)
 
Section 2: What does the body have to do with Life?
This section shares an account from Deuteronomy that tells of Moses death and burial.  Jehovah is identified as the one who buries Moses, although his body was never found.   Deuteronomy is identified as one of the books of the Bible authored by Moses and yet in Chapter 34 we are told of Moses' death?  Somewhat puzzling?  Now remember I am not a Bible scholar, absolutely no degrees whatsoever.  But in thinking over this dilemma I looked into the fact that the bulk of Deuteronomy is made up of three speeches given by Moses on the plains of Moab.  These speeches were delivered just before the Children of Israel were to enter the Promised Land.
Could one reason along these lines, if I give a speech and someone writes it down and publishes it, isn't it still my speech?  Even if Moses did not write a book called, Deuteronomy, isn't it possible to see him as the author of the book?  Nowadays lots and lots of celebrities and politicians "write" their biography and even appear on the book cover as the author, when in fact a "ghost writer" actually put their story into book form.  Often extensive interviews are conducted or notes shared and the ghost writer puts them down. 
In this case Moses reports his own demise in Chapter 34?  Hmm?  Moses is described as vibrant, alive, with all of his faculties intact at the time of his death at the age of 120.  But in this condition Moses dies and his body is not found.  One might ask, where do you find the life of Moses, in a grave for flesh and bones?  Or do you find Moses' life in his teachings about God and Israel's relationship to God?
And as evidence that the body (the presence of one or lack of one) does not determine life, remember Jesus took Peter, James and John up to a high mountain and in a moment of transformation, the disciples saw, Jesus, Moses, and Elijah there speaking together.  See Matthew 17:1 and Mark 9:2.  As Mrs. Eddy writes in (S-11) S&H 232,  "It is only when the so-called pleasures and pains of sense pass away in our lives, that we find unquestionable signs of the burial of error and the resurrection to spiritual life." 
 
Section 3: Travel light, win the race.
Here in Europe one of the loved sports to watch is Formula One auto racing.  Germany is really proud at the moment that the current two-time world champion, Sebastian Vettle, is the youngest back-to-back world champion ever.  This past Sunday our little Alma happened to click on the TV to the interviews just before the start of the Korean Grand Prix.  One of the things I noticed (since we have been looking for a car big enough for our whole gang) was that the cars are quite small and even though they have a big engine they are very light. (Not much luggage space included.) A  Formula One (F1) race car has a minimum permissible weight of 640 kg (1,411 lb) including the driver, fluids and on-board cameras.  However, all F1 cars weigh significantly less than this (some as little as 440 kg (970 lb)so teams add ballast to the cars to bring them up to the minimum legal weight.  What about your typical family car?  A Toyota Camry four-door sedan has a curb weight of about 3,680 pounds.   Simple rule:  If you want to go fast, carry as little baggage or excess weight as possible.
Lust, lying, wrath, corrupt communication, bitterness, anger, clamor, evil speaking, malice, harmful words, shouting, insults, hateful feelings of any sort absolutely get rid of them !! (B-12, B-13) Remember they really slow you down.
Citation B-11 from Hebrews 12:1 counsels us: "let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith;
 
Section 4:  And the winner in the category of overcoming death.....Jesus Christ!! First to see him, Mary Magdalene!!
All I can say is never ever belittle what a gardener might say!  In the Gospel of John, Chapter 20 we are told that three days after the crucifixion Mary Magdalene goes to Jesus' tomb.  She goes very early in the morning while it is still dark.  The stone which closed the tomb has been rolled away.  She runs to report this to the disciples.  They return with her and witness the empty tomb. They go back to where they were staying.  Mary stays and with tears in her eyes is addressed by two angels, "Why are you crying?" "They have taken my Lord".  Then she turns and speaks with someone she assumes to be the gardener, but it is Jesus.  She recognizes him when he speaks her name, "Mary."  She is the first to see the risen Savior. (B-15, John 20)   This Mary Magdalene as the Gospel identifies her is according to the best current research not a fallen woman, but a faithful disciple of Jesus, perhaps the most faithful.
 
"Mary Magdalene or Mary of Magdala (original Greek Μαρία ἡ Μαγδαληνή)[2] was one of Jesus' most celebrated disciples, and the most important woman disciple in the movement of Jesus.[3] Jesus cleansed her of "seven demons", conventionally interpreted as referring to complex illnesses.[4] She became most prominent during his last days, being present at the cross after the male disciples (excepting John the Beloved) had fled, and at his burial. She was the first person to see Jesus after his Resurrection,[3] according to both John 20 and Mark 16:9."  See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Magdalene
It was only in the year 591 that Pope Gregory implied that this Mary was a prostitute.  In 1969 the Catholic Church quietly changed their interpretation without commenting on Pope Gregory's view.  Most current scholarship clearly separates this Mary of Magdala, or Mary Magdalene from the other Mary's referred to in the Gospels.  And it clearly indicates that she was healed of illness and not a loose life style!
 
The references from Science and Health in this section (S-16 through S-18) clearly show how Jesus demonstrated that the flesh, the body, even though seemingly destroyed cannot destroy the Life of man.
As Mrs. Eddy writes in Science and Health, "Jesus' unchanged physical condition after what seemed to be death was followed by his exaltation above all material conditions; and this exaltation explained his ascension, and revealed unmistakably aprobationary and progressive state beyond the grave." (S-18) Page 46 
 
Section 5:  Acknowledge Jesus' demonstration of Life eternal as your invitation to follow his example! 
Could it be that this section of the Lesson is one of the most important in understanding and appreciating Jesus life and sacrifice?  In his life he did reveal Life.   And it is an example that stands for all mankind.  But it was the demonstration of a man working out his own salvation as God son.  And he did it for us all.  But it was not easy.  I did not always realize that fact.

I still remember the Sunday School session when my teacher that day, Charles Selemeyer, told us that Jesus walked among his students 40 days after his resurrection.   At first I did not believe him.  I had always thought of Jesus' experience as easy.  After all he was the Son of God.   And although I knew the crucifixion was a terrible event, somehow I had just thought, "´Well, he is the Son of God, of course he could survive and rise."  And sure he ascended.  But I do not think until that moment in Sunday School that I really realized what it took from Jesus side.  He had such incredible Love, such faith in Love's triumph over hate, over the grave, over all mortal belief.  But it was his individual demonstration of Life eternal.   It was an individual experience that has blessed humanity ever since with undeniable proof of spiritual existence, of Life eternal.
 
But Dr. Selemeyer was right, there it was right in the Bible (B-17)  Acts 1: 3 " To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God:"  And then he ascended, rose beyond their material comprehension.
Citations S-20 through S -24 in Science and Health beautifully articulate what Jesus demonstrated and lived.  He rose above all mortal sense.  But as we recognize that it was demonstration that enabled Jesus to rise and ascend, then we see that it was also a good example for us to follow.   That step by step we can follow the Master in his demonstration that God is Life, the only Life and that this Life is indeed spiritual.  But do we have to do it in one day, absolutely not.  Step by step in daily demonstration that Life is harmonious and eternal.  Every healing points us to the facts of spiritual existence.
Citation S-24 sums it up:  "Think not to thwart the spiritual ultimate of all things, but come naturally into Spirit through better health and morals and as the result of spiritual growth. Not death, but the understanding of Life, makes man immortal."
 
Section 6: First death, second death, all death yields to the Crown of Life!
Wow, tough section here.  What in the world is "second death"?     
Citation B- 20 states: "And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. 14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death." (Revelation 20:13, 14) 
If you research it you sure find plenty of "hellfire and damnation" being justified by this verse.  And then.....and then I looked for a little context. And I did find some light with a little context..... in The Good News translation of Rev.  2: 9-11.
"I know your troubles; I know that you are poor-but really you are rich! I know the evil things said against you by those who claim to be Jews but are not; they are a group that belongs to Satan! 10 Don't be afraid of anything you are about to suffer.  Listen! The Devil will put you to the test by having some of you thrown into prison, and your troubles will last ten days.  Be faithful to me, even if it means death, and I will give you life as your prize of victory. 11If you have ears, then, listen to what the Spirit says to the churches! Those who win the victory will not be hurt by the second death."
 
It is a promise, a promise of rising above what some describe as eternal damnation.  Death is defeated; it is absolute going down into the "lake of fire."  Death goes down, and we go up just like our Master, our Savior, our Wayshower.   And what do we get?  A crown -a "Crown of Life. "  A crown always recognizes royal status, a king, a queen, a princess or a prince.  And who is that? That is you: sons and daughters of the King of Life.
 
"Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him."  (B-23)
 
Wear your crown well!!
[P.S. To "win and wear the crown of the faithful"
(Miscellaneous Writings 340:5) will take work -- or "love made visible". In her "Fidelity" article Mrs. Eddy says: "There is no excellence without labor; and the time to work, is now. Only by persistent, unremitting, straight‐forward toil; by turning neither to the right nor to the left, seeking no other pursuit or pleasure than that which cometh from God, can you win and wear the crown of the faithful."(Mis. 340:5) 
Regarding yourself as God-crowned royalty-as the very "loved of Love" -will help you to see through, love through, endure through, and work through every temptation and challenge so that--like the divine royalty that you are-- you can finally "Meet every adverse circumstance as its master."
(S&H 419:16)]
 
[P.P.S. Those interested in the reference to "hear what the Spirit saith to the churches" (B-21 and Revelation 2:1-3:22) can help CedarS build a trail to where the 7 churches are located on the shore of our new scale model of the Mediterranean Sea. We have donated granite signs on cedar posts ready to install along a spiritual growth trail to benefit campers and visitors of any faith as soon as additional funds (~$1,000) allow that work to be done. John's message to us and our churches today (in chapters 2 and 3 of Revelation) will help us overcome: lack of enthusiasm (Ephesus); hypocrisy (Smyrna); sensualism and immorality (Pergamum); malpractice and manipulation (Thyatira); apathy and drowsiness (Sardis); weakness (Philadelphia); lukewarmness (Laodicea).
Pictures will be posted soon and regularly to our Bible Lands Park blog. ]
 
P.P.P.S. from Manfred Söllinger [mailto:SoellingerM@t-online.de]  in original Christianity all the way trough the Romanesque time Jesus was figured on the cross with an upright head and with a king's crown on his head and without the crown of thorns and all those wounds and the blood. He was shown as a victor. Only in he Gothic (Medivial) time this changed. But it is significant that Mrs. Eddy put the crown back on the cross, a symbal of overcoming the cross as the King.
Those crosses became rare in Europe. I found them first in Norway in those very old wooden Stafkerkes, more than 1000 years old. But a few are still in some German Churches and in Southern France. You may find some in the Internet by Google inputting "Triumpfkreuz".
 [MATCHING FUND OPPORTUNITY FOR MAINTENANCE MUSTS!  A precious donor has just pledged a matching grant of $25,000 if we can raise that amount by year end to do "Maintenance Musts" work on buildings and vehicles before next summer. So, if you have been blessed by any of CedarS 3 weekly inspirational newsletters (our Mets or our PSSTs and PYCLs for Sunday School teachers), NOW would be a wonderful time to share your appreciation. Your 50th Anniversary gift--as generous as divine Love directs-will play a needed part in CedarS important, year-round work for Christian Science Sunday School students.]
[Sharing the applicable principles of Christianity in CedarS Bible Lands Park: This new Fall-season outreach
(that is fostering a proper understanding of Christian Science) is in giving tours of our new Bible Lands Park that shows Bible-loving churches and youth groups of other denominations how Christian Scientists love and "take the inspired Word of the Bible as our sufficient guide to eternal Life." (S&H 497:3)  We are currently working in our Bible Lands Park to expand our ability to share applicable New Testament insights by building a trail with activity, learning stations that follow Paul's teachings and trips from Antioch to Ephesus, Corinth, Athens, Rome ... We welcome all gifts to enable such inspiring "Home Improvements" to be made NOW before it gets too cold and snowy to work outside.]
 
[CedarS recurring needs are listed at http://www.cedarscamps.org/giving/unrestricted-gifts.htm Just click here to use a credit or debit card (Visa, Mastercard, American Express, or Discover card) or a virtual check to make monthly donations to CedarS (or to give one-time gifts) in support of spiritual growth.  International supporters can give to CedarS via PayPal using built-in currency exchange rates by filling in an amount under International Donors and clicking on the "Donate Online" button.  
 
[Lastly you can help by telling "un-camped" children and families about CedarS being a wise and happy place for them to glimpse and demonstrate more of their spiritual natures!  We'll gladly send anyone a DVD and info on CedarS financial aid forms; programs for all ages; session dates & rates; online enrollment; transportation... to help get them or anyone in your extended church family to camp!]
 
 [Camp Director's Note: This sharing is the latest in an ongoing, 11-year series of CedarS Bible Lesson "Mets" (Metaphysical application ideas) contributed weekly by a rotation of CedarS Resident Practitioners and occasionally by other metaphysicians.  (Ask and look for "Possible Sunday School Topics "and "Possible Younger Class Lessons" in subsequent emails.) These weekly offerings are intended to encourage further study and application of ideas in the lesson and to invigorate Sunday School participation by students and by the budding teachers on our staff. Originally sent JUST to my Sunday School students and to campers, staff and CedarS families who wanted to continue at home and in their home Sunday Schools the same type of focused Lesson study, application and inspiration they had felt at camp, CedarS lesson "mets "and Sunday School ideas are in no way meant to be definitive or conclusive or in any way a substitute for daily study of the lesson. The thoughts presented are the inspiration of the moment and are offered to give a bit more dimension and background as well as new angles (and angels) on the daily applicability of some of the ideas and passages being studied. The weekly Bible Lessons are copyrighted by the Christian Science Publishing Society and are printed in the Christian Science Quarterly as available at Christian Science Reading Rooms or online at eBibleLesson.com or myBibleLesson.com. The citations referenced (i.e.B-1 and S-28) from this week's Bible Lesson in the "Met" (Metaphysical application ideas) are taken from the Bible (B-1 thru B-24) and the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health With Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy (S-1 thru S-30). The Bible and Science and Health are the ordained pastor of the Churches of Christ, Scientist. The Bible Lesson is the sermon read in Christian Science church services throughout the world. The Lesson-Sermon speaks individually through the Christ to everyone, providing unique insights and tailor-made applications for each one. We are glad you requested this metaphysical sharing and hope that you find some of the ideas helpful in your daily spiritual journey, in your deeper digging in the books and in closer bonding with your Comforter and Pastor.]
 
 Enjoy!    And, please contact us for more info about any and all things about CedarS! 

[PSST: Makeup for "work badly done or left undone"! Be spiritually minded!]
Possible Sunday School Topics the Christian Science Bible Lesson on
"Probation after Death" for Sunday, October 23rd, 2011
By Steve Henn, C.S. St. Louis, Missouri steven.henn@gmail.com 
[Steve is a CedarS Program Director who teaches English at Principia Upper School]
[Bracketed italics by Warren Huff, CedarS Director]
 
PSST for Golden Text:
What hinders us?  What 'sin' [literally "missing the mark" or "work badly done or left undone" S&H 6:7] most easily besets most of us?  What race is marked out before us? [God encourages daily "makeup exams" to allow us to redeem ourselves with retroactive treatments for areas where we could have done better.]
How do [past setbacks] hinder [hold back, delay, & obstruct us] and beset [continually harass or attack] us?  How do we run the race?
What if they didn't hinder or beset us?  Why do we run the race?
 
PSST for Responsive Reading:
Why would any of us need wisdom?  How do we get it? [James 1:5]
If God does not tempt us, where does temptation come from (hint: if God is all, can temptation exist...)?  What, then, is temptation?  How do we avoid temptation?
[What "old ... habits" do you need to give up to be God's "chosen", "new person"? Col. 3:10, 12]
 
PSST for Section 1:
What does perfection look like?  How do we achieve perfection?  [Remember that God perfects what concerns you, (B-1, Ps. 38:8) and "Perfection is gained only by perfection." S-4, 290:19]
What if we were perfect minded? ["Forgetting" past and "reaching forth", B-4, Phil. 3:14]
[How can we stay out of death's rut of being bodily ("carnally)-minded"? Have you ever felt the peace of being "spiritually minded" and truly alive? B-5, Romans 8:5]
Through where is life attainable, if not through death? [S-1, 487:4]
How do we best progress?  What does progress look like? [S-3, 296:4]
 
PSST for Section 2: 
Why do we wait on God?  [B-9, Ps. 27:14] How do we wait on God?  
What does Moses' example teach us? [B-9, Deut. 34]
What happens after 'death'?  [S-5, S-8]
What if we really understood that death is not an option? [S-11]
 
PSST for Section 3:
How do we put off our former transgressions?  [B-10, Ezek. 18:31]
Who do we yield ourselves servants to obey?  [B-13, Rom. 6:16] What options do we have?
What does it feel like to be God's servant?  [B-13, Rom. 6:16] What does it feel like, or look like, to be anyone else's servant?
How do we rid ourselves of 'a false material sense'?  [S-12, 296:10]
What 'wrong-doing' must we learn to loathe?  How do we become discontented with idleness? [S-14, 240:21] What if we loathed and were discontented with everything unlike God?
 
PSST for Section 4:
What if we had eternal life?  [B-14, John 3:15] How would you live your life?
Why was the Magdalene the first to know of Jesus' resurrection?  [B-15, John 20] What about her makes her the perfect person to see Jesus?
What is "the great problem of being"?  [S-16, 44:5] Why is Love the master of hate?  [S-16, 44:9] How do we demonstrate this on a daily basis?
Why was Jesus' body not changed? [S-18, 46:20]
 
PSST for Section 5:
What does it mean to be just?  Why is it a good idea to be just? [B-16, Prov. 4:18]
Why do we appear with Christ in glory? [B-18, Col. 3:4, S-23, 325:10]
What is Life?  Where is Spirit?
What is the 'true sense of being'? [S-22, 550:12]
 
PSST for Section 6:
How do we 'hold fast that which is good'?  [B-19, I Thes. 5:21] Why should we?
What are our works?  How will we be judged, if we are to be judged by our works? [B-20, Rev. 20:13]
What temptations must we endure?  How do we endure them?  What is our reward for enduring them? [B-23, James 1:12]
What does 'must' mean?  How does it impact the meaning of citation S-25?
Why does Mrs. Eddy use the word 'concepts' in citation S-27?
How do we lay aside weights and sins? [S-28, 20:27]
How do we finish our course with joy? [S-29, 21:9]

[PYCL: Backpack around obstacles! Develop a Board Game! Bury the bad!]
CedarS PYCL--Possible Younger Class Lessons for:  
"
Probation After Death"--The Christian Science Bible Lesson for Oct. 17-23, 2011
by Kerry Jenkins, CS, House Springs, MO (314) 406-0041
[bracketed italics by Warren Huff, CedarS Director & Editor of Mets, PSSTs & PYCLs]
 
[PYCL -Discuss the Subject:]
I always like to start by asking if anyone knows what the subject means and why it might be important to study twice a year. You can discuss the different kinds of probation that there are as young children probably won't have any experience with such things as "academic probation". This would only be worth talking about in a direct way with kids that are maybe second or third grade and up. Even then I would gauge your class.
 
[PYCL -Do a Golden Activity for all ages: Go Backpacking-through an obstacle course!]
The Golden Text brings to my thought a few different, though related ideas for active learning. With the littlest ones you might ask some questions about "where" we are going each day. Talk about the "race" that God has put you in. It is very exciting, full of loving and fun activities, great adventure and even presents of love, kindness and happiness.  But, if we try to "run" that race with heavy backpacks then we will get too tired and give up, or get grumpy, angry, frustrated and unhappy.  These heavy "backpacks" are like grumpy thoughts, unkind thoughts (or whatever you think is appropriate).  If we want to enjoy the race that God has put us in we need to leave these "heavy" thoughts and bad actions behind.  Bring them some bags [or a backpack] to carry with something heavy; or fill a milk jug with water and ask them to carry that a certain distance.  Is it fun to run with that?  Would you want to carry that all day?  What can we do to get rid of it?  Can't we just say "no, I'm not picking that up!"; or if we do pick it up, can't we just set it down and leave it behind?  I'm pretty sure they would enjoy the process of carrying the heavy jug and then trying the same "course" without the weight.  You can make a little "obstacle course" maybe just something around, under and over the table. These are like the obstacles you meet in school, or home ... they are the things that try to convince you that you should be unhappy, angry, sick or selfish.  The obstacles are not bad really; they are just "temptations" to your thought.  God has given you the freedom to enjoy a life of joy and peace and unselfishness. This week's whole lesson is about progressing, moving forward, doing better, realizing your innate perfection and grabbing on to it!  But Mrs. Eddy says in citation S-2 that "Universal salvation rests on progression and probation, and is unattainable without them." (Italics added.)  That means that we need the testing in order to do that progressing.  If we never were tempted to get angry with our little brother/big brother/friend/mom/dad, etc. then what kind of progress would we make?  It is in overcoming these challenges that we learn more about God's greatness our own wonderful and true self!  This activity can easily be modified to include much older classes.  You can bring a backpack filled with something heavy.  Have each student try it on and see if they think they could play their best soccer/gymnastics/basketball, etc. with this pack on.  Just the act of putting something on sets the lesson in their thought, so don't think that it just seems like a silly exercise.  You can tell if your kids are too old or will think the activity is "dumb"; but a lot depends on the attitude with which you approach an activity.  If you are fun and enthusiastic, they will see it in that light.  
 
[PYCL -Debrief this "Golden Activities" with older ones]
The older kids can get into a deeper conversation about what thoughts might "bog" them down on their daily God-directed "race".  Why are these thoughts "heavy"?  What does "perseverance" mean?  How can we tell if we are facing an obstacle, or if we are making our own race difficult by carrying unwelcome thought-baggage?  (Obviously a question for some older kids!)  Maybe we can think together about what our life "race" might be?  Is it really different for each person?  Maybe the race is the same, but different things are obstacles for different people.  Maybe for some the obstacles appear to be academic, while for others they are more of physical or social ones.  But even though the obstacles are different, is the "race" different?  Can you describe the "race" that God has set for us?
Maybe they'd have fun looking for the two other places in the lesson that this passage appears. [B-11 and S-28] How is it different when it reappears?
 
[PYCL - Develop a Board Game together and share it]
In a past PYCL I made a board game.  You may wish to turn this lesson into one as well.  There is so much about progress and the path and all the qualities that move us forward and the fact that "...there is never a retrograde step..." (S-9)  There are so many related statements that could go onto a board in some sort of progressive series.  It could have quotes on it, or points that we wish to progress to in our experience.  You could come up with the game ahead of time, roughly outline it, and let them fill it in.  Or you could just have them invent the game themselves.  Would they enjoy really polishing the game and sharing it with a younger class at some future date?  If this is the case, how should it be designed so that a younger group would enjoy it?  Can it be multi-level?
 
[PYCL -- Bury the bad and be done with it.]
There are several references to burial in this lesson, with Moses and Jesus.  Also Mrs. Eddy's thoughts about burial are included.  You could have them write what misconceptions about themselves that they would like to "bury".  They could put these misconceptions on paper and drop them in a small box to be buried.  You could then brainstorm ideas that are the counter-facts of these misconceptions. They can help each other with this activity.  You could even literally go outside and bury these wrong thoughts.  Talk about taking a stand for a "new" sense of self and progressing in the coming weeks.  Then make sure you keep a copy of their thoughts so that you can revisit this subject down the road and you can talk about progress or even the apparent lack of it.  Maybe they'd get a kick out of a small "tombstone" of the things that are buried.  Maybe that's too morbid, but they might like the symbolism and it could remind them that this is done, and they don't need to be afraid that they will return to it.  Obviously, just saying we are "done" with something doesn't mean we are.  You can discuss the need for the perseverance talked about in the Golden Text, and how God is helping us to move forward.  How can we keep progress coming?  I think citation S-14 points out that part of the success of our progress is determined by whether we even recognize that progress is needed.  So you may want to discuss that everyone needs and wants to progress.  You can talk about the ultimate example of progress that Jesus gave us through, not only in his resurrection, but also in his ascension.
 
Hopefully you will find something here to have a great time with together in Sunday School!
 

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